PM’s health improving, foreign leaders wish him well (Lead)

January 25th, 2009 - 6:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Jan 25 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was Sunday taken off the ventilator as his health showed steady improvement, a day after he underwent a successful 11-hour bypass surgery, hospital authorities and his aides said.”The prime minister is doing well. His condition is stable and improving. Doctors are happy with the progress,” Deepak Sandhu, the media adviser to the Prime Minister’s Office, told IANS.

Once he came off the ventilator, Manmohan Singh, 76, spoke with his family members.

“He will be in ICU for the next 46-48 hours after which he will be taken off the intensive monitoring,” D.K. Sharma, medical superintendent of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), said earlier. “The PM is stable. His doctors are more than happy with his recovery.”

World leaders meanwhile sent “get well soon” messages and bouquets, officials said. Among these were greetings from Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani as well as British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Sandhu said: “We have received best wishes in the form of bouquets and messages from our neighbouring states as well as from the British prime minister.”

The prime minister’s youngest daughter, Amrit Singh, has arrived from the US. “All his three daughters are here now,” Sandhu said. “The entire family is rooting for his health.”

Manmohan Singh, who became prime minister at the head of a Congress-led coalition government in May 2004, underwent five bypass surgeries Saturday at AIIMS. It was his second bypass surgery in 18 years.

The Saturday surgery lasted from 8.45 a.m. to 7.33 p.m. Manmohan Singh was then wheeled into the Intensive Cardiac Care Unit (ICCU), where he is still warded.

Doctors said Manmohan Singh, a diabetic, was now in post-operative care.
He had undergone a bypass surgery in 1990 in Britain and an angioplasty in 2004.

An 11-member team including surgeons and physicians performed the complicated surgery Saturday that sought to tackle blocked heart arteries. This was done under the overall guidance of Sampath Kumar, head of the AIIMS Cardio Vascular and Thoracic Centre. Ramakant Panda, vice chairman of the Asian Heart Institute in Mumbai, was the main surgeon.

Said Panda: “The prime minister should be able to resume some official duties in two weeks, most in four weeks and be fully active and functional in six weeks or even before.”

Manmohan Singh was discharged from the AIIMS Thursday following an angiography Wednesday, but was re-admitted Friday after he felt uneasy at his 7, Race Course Road residence in the morning.

The doctors have said that they expected the prime minister to recover quickly because he led a disciplined life. Manmohan Singh keeps himself fit doing yoga, is conscious of his diet and packs a punishing 18-hour work schedule.

This will also be the first time that a prime minister will skip the Jan 26 Republic Day celebrations. Defence Minister A.K. Antony will stand in for Manmohan Singh for the ceremonies.

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